Those Who Stay

A Counter-Melody
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She writes like a classical tragedian dropped into the contemporary.

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The prose is not pretty; the sentences are long but not ornate. Lila herself seems a classical character, dominant and opaque, full of rage and fury.

The third chapter in the Neapolitan Quartet

She is described as part saint, part mythic figure, with the remoteness of one and the almost unhuman force of the other. Elena and Lila grow up, their lives converge and diverge, they have children, they share a passion for the same man, they leave their husbands. Set in a train station, this series of three paintings explores the psychological dimension of modern life's transitory nature.

In The Farewells , Boccioni captures chaotic movement and the fusion of people swept away in waves as the train's steam bellows into the sky. Oblique lines hint at departure in Those Who Go , in which Boccioni said he sought to express "loneliness, anguish, and dazed confusion. If you notice an error, please contact us at digital moma. This work is included in the Provenance Research Project , which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

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They undermine the myth of the writer as a self-making genius. We see two talented, ambitious girls who want work and love. But for these twin aspirations, both deeply desired, the trajectory of the female writer diverges from that of the male. The one who seems to have suffered for Knausgaard becoming a writer is his wife.

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For the lady writer, though, it is a different story every step of the way. They begin their friendship with Lila dominating, as the skinny, dirty daughter of the shoemaker who wins all the competitions in school.

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Read Those Who Leave and those Who Stay (Neapolitan Novels) book reviews & author details and more at Free delivery on qualified orders. Start by marking “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3)” as Want to Read: Since the publication of My Brilliant Friend, the first of the Neapolitan novels, Elena Ferrante's fame as one of our most compelling, insightful, and stylish contemporary authors.

But when both girls earn a chance to test for a scholarship to a citywide sixth grade—a chance that itself requires books purchased and summer tutoring—the parents of Elena agree to try. Elena continues in school and the skinny Lina, the tomboy, becomes beautiful. They make a handsome, wealthy couple. They have a convertible. An essay that she submits to a journal for publication is rejected. Meanwhile Lina and her new husband move into a new condominium with a lavish bathroom, and Elena, still a poor student, comes over to bathe in the luxurious tub. Lina shows her uncanny sense of culture by designing the family shoe store in downtown Naples not as a retail shop, but as an arty salon.

One believes her cool. She seems to be winning. The first novel ends with a wedding, like a Shakespearean tragicomedy, where you feel him shoving his characters into the happy ending that his audience required. We now see her flee the party, her groom following.

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With these developments, Ferrante shrewdly undermines the traditional notion of the wedding plot not only as a happy ending, but also as the defining factor—either way—for the future of the bride. Their work, their educations, and their sexualities all develop in response—rivalrous, idolatrous, or collaborative—to each other.

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Lina has an idyllic affair with a boy from the neighborhood whom Elena has always loved. Elena chronicles this desperate act later when she writes a novel. He almost forgets the handwritten manuscript in the restaurant. The second book ends with Elena on top.

She finishes her degree, she is engaged to be married to a young professor from a good family, she has sold her book—but her standard of reference is still Lina, toward whom she feels admixtures of guilt and awe. Elena is disappointed with the averageness of her adult peers, who grew up in the world she struggled so hard to enter. Yet while Elena meets the editor of her first novel in Milan, Lina is ruining her hands working in a brutal and unsanitary sausage plant.

When Elena is up, Lina is at her lowest—the tale is a seesaw, the balance is always shifting. If the second volume undermines the marriage plot, the third upends the literary fairytale. The Brilliant Friend novels, as they are called in Italy, employ a retrospective first person, as Dickens did in David Copperfield , adding to the impression of autobiography.

Since then Lina has disappeared. So the novels overlap, except that Elena has excised Lina, as if she never existed. In a few years—three, five, ten, twenty—the book would end up on those shelves, in the library of the neighborhood where I was born, it would be catalogued, people would ask to borrow it to find out what the daughter of the porter had written.

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Greco is struggling to find her way through middle life by writing a second book. Thanks for telling us about the problem. The world is changing. Three-quarters of the way through this saga, I can't stop thinking about the degree to which so many of them are symbols of corrupted shape and form: Lila's visions of dissolving margins, her experience of the exploding copper pot. This was read by a robot. The style's not so different.